au pair

Au Pair vs. Nanny?

⏱ Reading time: 2 min.
The Au Pair program has its own regulations which the Au Pair and the family need to meet.

In case of nannies, the only regulation that applies to a live in nanny and a family is the country employee legislation - there are no exchange program rules to follow. 
Although in case of nannies and Au Pairs the scope of responsibilities may seem to be similar, there are some major differences. 
An Au Pair is not a nanny from overseas - in this post we will answer in detail one of the most common questions: what's the difference between a nanny and an Au Pair? For a shortcut, you can have a look at this table.
au pair vs nanny
So, what's the difference between an Au Pair and a nanny? An Au Pair is defined as a young person (between the ages of 18-30), who goes abroad to live with a native family and learn (or perfect) a language in exchange for childcare. Meanwhile, a nanny does not take part in any cultural exchange and gets a salary as in any other job.

Video: Differences Between a Nanny and an Au Pair? 

In the following video, Charlotte from explains the differences between an Au pair and a nanny.

Up to this day, there is no official “Nanny abroad” or “Live in Nanny” program. Nevertheless, it is possible to hire a nanny under a regular job contract (instead of the Au Pair contract). Families that are willing to hire a nanny must take into consideration that in most countries no visas are issued for this job.

au pair vs nannyThere are several differences between an Au Pair and a live in nanny. In reality, they do not have so much in common besides the area of activity: childcare. In order to make it clear for our Host Families, we have made a comparison list.

Differences between a live-in nanny and an Au Pair

  Au Pair Live-in nanny
Age Has a specific age barrier for each country. Does not have any age barrier. He/she can be hired at any age.
Working hours Has a maximum permitted working hours per week in each country. This must be respected by the Host Family. Working hours are agreed with the family and regulated by the host country's labor law.
Cultural exchange aspect The Au Pair participates in a cultural exchange program and must come from a different country or have a different nationality than at least one of the host parents. Hiring a nanny does not normally involve a cultural exchange.
Salary An Au Pair receives pocket money from the Host Family. A nanny is paid a salary that should at least match the minimum wage of the country.
Language course An Au Pair must have the possibility to attend a language course. A nanny does not need to attend a language course.
Relation with family An Au Pair is seen as a temporary family member. A nanny is perceived  as an employee.
Visa and work permit In many cases, Au Pairs need a visa. Many countries offer a specific Au Pair visa. A nanny coming from abroad may need a work permit or visa. He/she is not allowed to work with an Au Pair visa. Please get in touch with the embassy in order to learn more.
Duties and responsibilities Duties and responsibilities of an Au Pair are strictly related to childcare and light domestic work around the children's area. Nanny's duties and responsibilities depend on the agreement between the nanny and her/his employer.
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How can an Au Pair get a visa? is an online matching agency, therefore this question is beyond our scope of responsibility. But we will do our best to help you nonetheless! Usually the best source of information is the embassy of the host country placed in the Au Pair’s homeland. Requirements vary depending on both the Au Pair’s nationality and the host country, but usually a letter of invitation from the Host Family and a signed contract are needed to start the visa application. Other documents may be different depending on each individual case, and in case of the US, assistance of a local full-service Au Pair agency is also necessary.   
Can you help me with the paperwork and the placement process?
Unfortunately, we can’t help you with it. We are an online matching agency, thus we can’t interfere in your searching or placing process. We are happy to provide you with all our searching and matching tools and the information about the Au Pair experience. As our platform is available worldwide, we are unable to take care of all the applications we get daily. Feel free to use our service to visit your dream destination and find a great Host Family. We will be also glad to get your feedback! If you have any ideas or comments, get in touch with us
How long does it take to find an Au Pair?
It depends on several factors. Make sure your profile is full and interesting for other users. Make sure that you meet the Host Family requirements set by the Au Pair program. Be active and contact about 10-15 Au Pairs per day. If you follow the three tips above you can find a suitable match within one to four weeks. Check out our Host Family guide for more advice and ideas on how to find an Au Pair faster.

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